Donora Parish 'adopts' sick girl
The Rev. John Borodach said that despite sickness and hospital stays that keep her away from Mass, Nevaeh Reho is a permanent fixture at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Donora.
"I don't know anyone in this parish who isn't enamored with this kid. She's always smiling, always happy," he said. "I keep the people updated from the pulpit."
The few months have been tumultuous for the 10-month old, who is afflicted with ependymoma - a rare condition in which cells lining passageways of the brain produce and store spinal fluid.
A cancerous mass was removed from her brain in November, and the infant was healthy and happy until just a few weeks ago, when tests revealed another operation was necessary.
The baby's mother, Erin Reho, said the surgery purportedly removed the entire mass, and that testing revealed no additional tumors.
"He believed he got all of it," she said. "There's still some concern about it growing. They think this tumor is more aggressive than they originally thought."
Although a hemmorhage forced Nevaeh back to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, Erin Reho said her daughter spirits have been high.
While she originally was scheduled to undergo chemotherapy, doctors said the hemmorage will make that impossible. She is undergoing guided radiation, a procedure usually used on children age 1 and older.
"She'll get through this. I can feel it in my heart that she will make it through," Erin Reho said.
Beverly Scott, Nevaeh's paternal grandmother, said the prayer, support and donations from friends and neighbors has helped give the couple - and the family - strength to carry on.
Nevaeh never ceases to surprise her, she said.
"She is a fighter, she's something," she said.
Nevaeh's illness has required a leave of absence for her mother. Her father recently began another job.
With hospital bills and expenses mounting, Scott and Nevaeh's maternal grandmother, Lynda Lennox, are planning a lottery fund-raiser to benefit the family.
Donation cans have been placed throughout the Mon Valley, Scott said.
St. Michael Church is selling Easter egg wraps, themed napkins and paper placemats, and lamb butter molds to benefit the family.
"All the profits will go to Nevaeh," Borodach said. "She's been adopted by this whole parish."
He hopes the money and prayer accumulated at mass will help Nevaeh - heaven in reverse.
For information on the fund-raiser, call (724) 379-5264.
For information on the Easter item fund-raiser, call (724) 379-9751.
Donations can be sent to the Nevaeh Reho Fund: 409 Fifth St, Donora Pa. 15033.